Foreign high-tech companies will announce investments amounting to billions of dollars in Israel in the near future, Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon said at the annual conference of the Manufacturers Association of Israel today. Kahlon exploited his appearance to at the conference to settle scores with Manufacturers Association president Shraga Brosh, who in August wrote to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu protesting at the fact that Kahlon's economic plan spoke of growth of only 3%. "I reject and repel all the criticisms of the 2016 budget as not geared to growth," he said, "It did generate growth, and how! The criticisms were from interested parties who put the economy at risk by spreading abroad the idea that the Israeli government was not friendly to business, implying a message of 'don't invest here'."
Kahlon did acknowledge the need to spend more on professional education and training. "The amount we have put into it is inadequate. We will add whatever is necessary to create a technological generation that can satisfy all requirements and we won't hear all the time of shortages of professionals. I personally agree with that and I am a graduate of a trade school – for anyone who doesn't know, I learned welding – so here and there we weld a few things together."
On high-tech, Kahlon said, "I have no word other than pride. Last week I met senior people from the high-tech industry. Today, we are among the best places in the world for high tech. There are billions of dollars on the way here, and you know I'm not a man of big words. There are companies already in advanced negotiations with us. Naturally, I can't mention their names, but you will see it in the near future. Companies are on their way to invest here because of the reform in taxation. The reform will bring companies here and keep companies here that had planned to leave. The last thing I want to see during my term is that, heaven forbid, an enterprise should close."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 12, 2017
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